Optica
+ Programming + Archives Décades + News + Publications + Support Optica + Info

2018 - 2019

Programming

Maryse Larivière
from September 7th 2018 to October 20th 2018

Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow
from September 7th 2018 to October 20th 2018

Maryse Larivière
from October 13th 2018 to October 13th 2018

Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow
from October 20th 2018 to October 20th 2018

Geneviève Chevalier
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018

Virginie Laganière
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018




image

Maryse Larivière, Under the Cave of Winds, 2017.
Film 16mm avec son, 4 minutes 3 secondes | 16mm film with sound, 4 minutes 3 secondes. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Maryse Larivière
from September 7th 2018 to October 20th 2018
Under the Cave of Winds

Opening, Friday, September 7 - 6PM

Family Saturdays: September 15 and October 20

In her poetry and in essays of an often fictionalized autobiographical nature, Maryse Larivière puts her own voice on the line by going beyond oppositions between affective lived experience and the symbolic construction of sexual difference. Under the guise of research in art history, Larivière also produces analyses of artistic practices of the 1970s-among them Joyce Wieland-that were contemporary with the emergence of women's writing in the literary field. The epistolary novel Orgazing, one component of her installation at OPTICA, Under the Cave of Winds, continues with her own practice of assembling referential fragments in a mix of stylistic modes (poetry, theory, autobiography). The action is set on Staffa Island, Scotland. From her cell at the top of Fingal’s Cave, the narrator writes letters to her lover, weaving an amorous discourse that places the auditory pleasures of language before recognition of one’s desire by the “other.” As readers, we adopt the role of the hypothetical—and apparently male—subject addressed by the author, while remaining a third party, outside the transference relationship. Yet the exhibition encourages transgressive gestures in the literary space by way of an intentionally inadequate “adaptation” of the book. Thus, a 16-mm film strings together narrative fragments drawn from a breakdown of this “source text.” The artist plays the figure of the captive author, though she avoids showing her face, while the craggy landscape and prison architecture make surreptitious appearances. Saturating the cinematic apparatus, the scene of the writing, and the space in which we are strolling, the sculptures act as hinges or pivots. Some have a dissimulative function, like the rock that hides the film projector and thus emits a single beam of light, while the back of the screen becomes a load-bearing structure for an absent parrot. Yet these apparently motionless markers also change shape during our visit. In the parallax, their configuration alludes at once to the translation process Larivière undertook in composing Orgazing (English not being her mother tongue) and to the fluid movements of the character’s psyche as she invents her own language, made up as much of words uttered as of air exhaled.

Author: Vincent Bonin

Vincent Bonin is a writer and curator. He lives in Montreal. He has recently published D’un discours qui ne serait pas du semblant/Actors, Networks, Theories, Dazibao, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal.

Public reading of the book Orgazing at OPTICA, Friday, September 7 - 7PM

Maryse Larivière, Orgazing, Calgary, Untitled Art Society, 2017, 64p.
Epistolary novella, prose and poetry
Available at OPTICA, 20$.

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)




Maryse Larivière is a researcher, author, and artist. She lives in Montreal. She has exhibited at Walter Philips Gallery, The Banff Centre, AB, Oakville Galleries, and galerie Division, in Montreal.




image

Deb VanSlet, Running, 1996
Image tirée de la vidéo | Video Still
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow
from September 7th 2018 to October 20th 2018

Opening, Friday, September 7, 6PM

Family Saturdays: September 15 and October 20

“It’s all life until death”
Grace Paley

The experiences we render into story are integral parts of who we become. Yet some stories remembered are more significant than others. These stories are often comprised of “vital memories” (Brown and Leavy) that recall a moment of drama or trauma in a life. Vital stories are not always coherent, or consistent. We may tell them slightly differently, only recall fragments, or embellish. Although we may share them with others, we may also repress or forget details over time.

47 Storeys is one such vital story. In 1996 Paul Litherland went to a bar at the top of a very tall building, drank a beer, waited until the other patrons and staff left, then parachuted into the night-time sky, landing safely on the street to the astonishment of two late-night revelers. Three months after the jump, afraid of forgetting significant details, Paul commemorated his adventure to video. 20 years later Paul revisits the event with Monique Moumblow. They re-edit the original 43 minute tape down to 11 minutes. Paul then attempts to re-enact his original mediated performance. On one screen we see Paul who sits, listens to himself through headphones, and speaks over his original narrative. On a second screen Paul attempts to duplicate his original performance word-for-word and gesture-by-gesture. On the third screen is the edited original. These three different renditions of the tale, from 3 different moments in time, are almost the same, but they never perfectly align. No matter how much we practice, the story is never exactly as it was.

47 Storeys is a brilliant and slightly comedic rendition of the “performative act of memory-making”(Kuhn). Narrating the past re-activates and catapults memories into the present, often with the help of souvenirs such as the video-tape and parachute equipment that Paul still keeps in his care. Paul’s fumbling narrative recollections lay bare this performative process of memory-making as past and present collide in a single temporal moment superbly visualized in this 3 channel video.

In the re-telling of this vital story grey-haired, bespectacled Paul moves in imperfect harmony with his former self. This temporal collision invites reflection upon both memory re-enactments, story-telling and the vagaries of ageing: “the permanently fluctuating relationships between younger and older selves” (Segal). We see, hear and feel these fluctuations, experiencing a vertigo of narrative mediation: Paul’s post-hoc memory is rendered into story and captured on video tape, which is then digitally remastered in the present for the future. It is the absence of documentation of the original event –no pictures, photos or go-pro video–that makes the re-telling of the story so necessary and so compelling. Thankfully, Paul lived to tell the tale, again and again.

Author: Kim Sawchuk

Kim Sawchuk est professeure et directrice de Ageing-Communication-Technologies (www.actproject.ca), Université Concordia.


Director: Monique Moumblow
Performer: Paul Litherland
Camera 1996 et 2016: Deb VanSlet
Performance Coach: Alexis O’Hara
Sound Mix: Steve Bates
Translation of the video: Jo-Anne Balcaen
Text: Kim Sawchuk
Video synchronizer: Nelson Henricks
Location: Maerin Hunting
Equipment Loan: Frederick Masson
Painting: Karen Elaine Spencer
Team at OPTICA: Esther Bourdages, Philippe Chevrette, Marie-Josée Lafortune
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
Concordia University Part-time Faculty Association
Nicole Gingras
Lorraine Oades
Yudi Sewraj
Karen Trask

Performance of Paul Litherland at OPTICA, Saturday, October 20, 2018
PRESS RELEASE (pdf)




Monique Moumblow is a video artist and a fan of spectacular storeys.

Paul Litherland is a gentleman adventurer, a closet scuba diver in a room full of wingsuiters.




image



Maryse Larivière
from October 13th 2018 to October 13th 2018
Public reading of the book Orgazing at OPTICA

Friday, September 7 - 7PM and Saturday, October 13, at 3PM.
Maryse Larivière, Orgazing, Calgary, Untitled Art Society, 2017, 64p.
Epistolary novella, prose and poetry
Available at OPTICA, 20$.

Orgazing is an epistolary novella set on the remote Scottish island of Staffa. A woman, held captive in an institution built atop Fingal’s Cave, addresses her beloved about their failed revolution, her attempt to transform writing into telepathic singing, and her effort to develop this mode of communication while incarcerated. Shifting between prose and poetry, word and birdsong, Orgazing explores the limits of body and voice, articulating an unsettled longing for metamorphosis. The themes explored in the artist’s book Orgazing include the sinuous paths of feminine desire, the wandering fluxes of nature and culture, and the concerted and agential relationship between mind and body in the making and thinking of art.




image

Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow, 47 Storeys, 2018. Installation vidéo à 3 canaux, son, circa 10 min.
Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow, 47 Storeys, 2018. Three-channel video installation, sound, circa 10 min.
Crédit | Credit: Paul Litherland.



Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow
from October 20th 2018 to October 20th 2018

Next Saturday October 20th, performance of Paul Litherland from 4PM to 5PM_the artist completes the cycle!


As part of his exhibition at OPTICA in collaboration with Monique Moumblow, Paul Litherland presents a performance that sheds light around the jump.
Closing Performance - the complete story of the jump!!

Paul Litherland:"22 years ago, I jumped from a building without a camera, but with a parachute. A few months later, wanting to have some kind of document, I made a video recording of the story. 20 years later, I repeat the process. In collaboration with Monique Moumblow, we present the premiere of the work 47 Storeys, a video installation about memory, age, and technology".




image

Geneviève Chevalier, Bord d'attaque / Bord de fuite - Leading Edge / Trailing Edge, 2018.
Impression jet d'encre sur papier coton, 43,18 X 60,96 cm.
| Inkjet printing on cotton paper,
43,18 X 60,96 cm. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Geneviève Chevalier
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018
Trailing Edge / Leading Edge

Opening, Saturday, November 10 - 3PM to 6PM

Family Saturdays: November 17 and December 15

Geneviève Chevalier’s Trailing Edge / Leading Edge, which takes the form of a two-channel video installation accompanied by an artist’s book, deals with the predicament of northern seabirds in an era of climate change. The video juxtaposes images taken from the exploration of various sites and seabird colonies throughout Scotland and Québec, interspersed with interviews with British seabird researcher emeritus Sarah Wanless and Québec biologist and research chair in arctic biodiversity Dominique Berteaux. Picking up from the video, the artist’s book explores avenues of reflection and offers the rudiments of an answer.

PRESS REVIEW

MAVRIKAKIS, Nicolas. «Les arts visuels sous le signe de l’engagement», Le Devoir, August, 25 and 26, 2018.




image

Virginie Laganière, Au pied de la tourelle, colonie marine Rosa Maltoni Mussolini, 2017.
Photographie. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Photograph. Courtesy of the artist

Virginie Laganière
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018

Opening, Saturday, November 10 - 3PM to 6PM

Family Saturdays: November 17 and December 15

In the exhibition Le Prisme, Virginie Laganière proposes a reflection on the phenomena of the Italian seaside summer camps erected during the Fascist era on a backdrop of political indoctrination. First interested in the sociopolitical ramifications of this slice of history, Laganière pays special attention to these exceptional, futurist-inspired architectural explorations, which have drawn the interest of modernism enthusiasts worldwide. In the gallery, she experiments with on-site space in order to build small architectural modules that can house a video diptych.

PRESS REVIEW

MAVRIKAKIS, Nicolas. «Les arts visuels sous le signe de l’engagement», Le Devoir, August 25 and 26, 2018.